Human Settlements

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Human Settlements


Even from the early periods, people have been living in groups for purposes of security from wild life and invasions from other groups of people. During the period of nomadic occupations, such groups moved from one place to another. Sedentary agriculture provided permanent settlements in river valleys and deltas. Villages came into being and the siting of villages depended on local factors.

In lowlands and deltas, which are liable to be affected by floods, village sites are located on lands, which are not liable to submergence. Such settlements are called Dry point settlements. Such settlements are found in coastal plains of Kerala and deltas along the east coast of India. In the arid and semi-arid regions like parts of Rajasthan, interior of Deccan plateau, village sites are located near source of water supply such as rivers, tanks, canals and wells. These are called wet point settlement.

In some of the interior areas, which are sparsely populated, the villages and town are located inside or adjacent to forts. They are fortified settlements or strong point settlements.

In course of time, with the growth of population and greater mobility of people giving to the development of transport facilities, some of the villages grew in size to become towns. A town is not merely a large village. It has functions different from those of villages. While people living in villages ere primarily engaged in primary occupations like agriculture or animal rearing, people living in towns depend on other occupations also. They may be engaged in processing of agricultural produce or marketing. Towns also have better' services like education, public health and administration. Urban centres are classified according to size and also according to their functions. Thus we have commercial centres, industrial centres, administrative centres like headquarters of districts, nodal centre, ports etc. Though a city may have many functions, it is classified according to the most dominant function. Urbanization has taken place on a large scale in the developed nations. The growth of industries has favored rapid industrialization, urban or suburban centres are preferred for industrial location because of the infra structural facilities like, power, transport, water supply, etc., which are available. Even in the developing nations, there has been rapid growth of urban population in recent decades.

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